Changes to Watch/Warning/Advisory products on the way

Published:
Updated:

Even though it may feel like summer this weekend, we all know that winter is coming.

If you follow the weather closely you may notice a change in the way weather hazards are issued beginning this winter. The National Weather Service Watch/Warning/Advisory system is in the midst of its Hazard Simplification Project or “HazSimp."

The goal is to simplify the way the NWS gets its message out to the public and it’s happening because the NWS found that the public and its partners sometimes find the current way of doing things a little confusing.

Courtesy: National Weather Service
Media Folder: 

One of the changes that’s on the way will be a paring down of winter products.

The Lake Effect Snow Watch and Blizzard Watch products will now fall under the umbrella of Winter Storm Watch.

The Lake Effect Snow Advisory and Freezing Rain Advisory products are now part of the broader Winter Weather Advisory product.

And what would have been a Lake Effect Snow Warning will now be included in the Winter Storm Warning product. This will slim down the amount of different weather warnings that are issued, making the program simpler.

Courtesy: National Weather Service
Media Folder: 

The NWS will also make messages shorter and they’ll have a standard format that highlights “What, Where and When” the given Watch/Warning/Advisory will impact the area in question.

Additional details and precautionary actions will follow. Again this will make things simpler as future products will be more direct and to the point.

Media Folder: 

These changes go into effect Oct. 1, and the Weather Service isn’t stopping with winter products.

In the coming year it will make similar changes in flood, wind, marine and extreme temperature products.

For more on the “HazSimp” program go to weather.gov/hazardsimplification.